These Are the Teams Praying They Have a Shot at Trading for Zach LaVine

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These Are the Teams Praying They Have a Shot at Trading for Zach LaVine

Chicago Bulls

I’m going to preface this entire post with this: Zach LaVine isn’t available.

Thanks to a 17-21 record, the Chicago Bulls remain everyone’s favorite “blow-it-up” team. Reports have already circled for the past month about which other teams would like to target the Bulls’ centerpieces. But, for now, that is all wishful thinking.

No one has yet to declare the Bulls as sellers. In fact, if anything, each of these rumors about interested parties has come tied to comments about how the Bulls have yet to entertain their offers. And the latest report we’re about to address is no exception.

HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reiterated that Chicago “hasn’t shown a willingness” to become one of the league’s top-sellers, but he did name-drop four teams that could have interest if LaVine happens to become available.

If the Chicago Bulls make Zach LaVine available before the trade deadline, rival executives are keeping an eye on several teams who could have interest in trading for him, including the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, and Miami Heat.

Surprised? Me neither.

The Knicks have long been an organization mentioned around practically any All-Star-caliber player. With that being the case, it didn’t feel like breaking news when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said they were “watching” LaVine’s situation last month.

The same can certainly be said about the Los Angeles Lakers, to whom LaVine was endlessly connected during his unrestricted free agency this summer. We shouldn’t expect that connection to go away any time soon, as LaVine remains a member of LeBron James’ agency, Klutch, and he has plenty of strong ties to the West coast (attended UCLA, has a house out there, has family in Washington).

As for the Mavericks and Heat, I would consider these easy destinations to speculate about. Mavs fans have been vocal online about the possibility of adding LaVine as a secondary star next to Luka Doncic. While he may not provide the defense needed next to the MVP candidate, he does provide the kind of three-level scoring and athleticism that isn’t hard to see fitting in Dallas. Miami has a bit of a different situation as it tries to figure out its aging core. But we all know this is another organization that is always looking to make a gaudy splash, and LaVine could prove to be a bridge between eras for the franchise.

I don’t really want to dive too deep into hypothetical trades with any of these teams (because, again, LaVine isn’t necessarily available), but it is hard not to wonder which would be the best trade partner. If we’re being honest, three of the four feel pretty unlikely due to a lack of real tradable resources.

Dallas, Los Angeles, and Miami are all rather thin when it comes to attractive youngsters and draft capital. I suppose the Heat could throw Tyler Herro into the conversation, but is he truly moving the needle for this front office? What about the Lakers’ two highly-coveted first-rounders? Would the front office see those distant picks as the proper foundation?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The Knicks do make the most sense if LaVine were to hit the trade market. They were all ready to trade for Donovan Mitchell, and they should be ready to reshape the package to fit LaVine. Now, they do lack that kind of potential star youngster this front office may want in return (unless they target R.J Barrett, who is difficult to trade for due to a poison pill provision), but guys like Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, and Miles McBride are at least interesting developmental players. Not to mention, Knicks first-rounders always feel like the safest bet!

Still, all of this is silly to talk about because LAVINE ISN’T AVAILABLE. If that changes in the coming months, we can re-open this door. For now, though, teams need to understand that LaVine is arguably the least likely player for this organization to trade. Simple as that.



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.